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WILD NATURE

Endangered turtle lays eggs in Florida hospital

  • Sept. 3, 2012: A hand reaches to collect an egg deposited by a critically ill female hawksbill sea turtle at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla.AP/The Turtle Hospital via the Florida Keys News Bureau

  • Sept. 2, 2012: Veterinarian Dr. Doug Mader, left, ultrasounds an endangered hawksbill sea turtle at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla.AP/The Turtle Hospital via Florida Keys News Bureau

An injured endangered sea turtle has laid six eggs after being brought a turtle hospital in the Florida Keys.

Bette Zirkelbach is the administrator of the hospital. She says staff was able to harvest the eggs and they have been put in an incubator with sand from the U.S. Virgin Islands. That way if the eggs hatch, the hawksbill sea turtles will be familiar with their native sand.

Any hatchlings will be taken to the same St. Croix beach where the mother was found Aug. 24.

Officials say the turtle has deep wounds on both shoulders and might have been hooked by a fisherman and then repeatedly gaffed to remove the fishing gear.

The mother is in guarded condition.